Lady Renegades suffer defeat on sophomore night
November 25, 2013
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Skyline College came to Fremont on Monday with an upset in mind.
Missing two key starters Jackie Class and Taylor Presley really put Ohlone (10-12 overall, 4-7 conference) in a hole that they couldn’t recover from falling to the Trojans (10-15, 3-10) 3-1 at Epler Gymnasium.
“It is really hard to think of words to describe what I feel with this being my last game here,” sophomore Brittany Creel said.
“This is really sad and I just don’t know what to say about it.”
Presley and Class are both starters on this year’s squad and are also key contributors.
Ohlone College Athletic Director Chris Warden spoke to the Monitor about the circumstances surrounding the noticable absence of two key contributors.
“The CCCAA (California Community College Athletic Association) requires that all active players must be enrolled in and attending a minimum of 12 units during their season of sport,” Warden said.
“If they drop below that threshold, they are not eligible to play.”
Two newcomers to the team, Jovita Nunez and Cammie Kajioka, tried to fill the huge void left by the more experienced Lady Renegades.
Despite great efforts from both and the entire team, Ohlone could not figure out Skyline and their hard-hitting style.
“We had some issues with units and not having enough,” Presley said.
The outside hitting of the Trojans was overpowering and dominant at times during the match, especially in the first set when they managed to jump out to a huge double-digit lead.
The Trojans dominated the opening set from the first serve, building a massive lead, but Ohlone managed to fight back and ultimately lost the set 25-13.
The momentum the Lady Renegades gathered from their strong finish poured over into the second set and Ohlone took the win in the second by a final of 25-21.
Ohlone made the third set tough for Skyline before falling 25-20 after a handfull of unforced errors by some less experienced players.
“We have always had really good chemistry as a team and it is hard when you don’t win like you want to and you know you should,” Creel said.
“Losing two starters was really tough and we couldn’t recover from it. Overall my time here has been a great experience.”
Fortunately for Creel her playing days will continue as she intends to transfer to Wheaton College in Illinois and become a member of the Thunder headed by coach Brittany Smith.
Wheaton has five departing seniors on their current roster which could open up some playing time possibility for the hard-hitting Creel.
Marcela Chinn did an admirable job at trying to fill the shoes of Presley at the defensive specialist position.
Chinn will be attending the University of Oregon in Eugene next year.
Emily Maden, Creel, Presley, Chinn and Class had stellar careers while at Ohlone over the past two seasons; they helped to lead last year’s squad to a playoff appearance.
With just one game remaining on the schedule the Lady Renegades need to secure a victory to bolster their post-season resume in hopes of receiving a playoff berth this season.
“Tough loss for the girls. I hope they can still get into the playoffs,” Warden said.
West Valley College is the final opponent of the season for Ohlone which will have to travel to Saratoga to take on the Vikings on the hardwood.
The first round of the Northern California playoffs are scheduled to begin on Nov. 26, which Ohlone still has an outside chance at making.
It was a bittersweet ending to yet another solid year for coach Jeremy Penaflor and the Lady Renegades.
Penaflor has ties to several club teams in the area and is an excellent recruiter.
He will have to put those skills to use and gather some new weapons to reload for the 2014 volleyball season.
Nunez, Kajioka, Shelby Bolduc, Kilistina Makasini and Abby Pimentel are all expected to return next season for Ohlone providing a sold core group of returning veteran players.